Analysis 29 Sep 16

World Bank Upbeat About Western Balkans

A new report paints a broadly optimistic picture of economic trends in the Balkan region where growth rates in particular are picking up.

Milos Damnjanovic
BIRN
Belgrade
World Bank Group Headquarters in Washington DC. Photo: Deborah W. Campos/World Bank

An upbeat report by the World Bank on economic trends in six countries of southeast Europe – Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia – will leave local politicians and policymakers patting each other on the back, while citizens of these countries will probably be surprised to hear how well things are going.

In an uncertain external environment, the World Bank sees resilient economic growth in the region, coupled with falling unemployment levels.

Fiscal consolidation is perceived to be delivering clear benefits to those countries that have been pursuing it. However, the Bank makes it clear that there is little room for complacency if such trends are to be sustained.

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